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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The song we sang when we met

[posted by risa]

I'm waking up from an unusual nap. I was eating peas, and watching bees among the runner bean blossoms where the runners have climbed the pea vines, and thought I would get down on my knees to look in beneath the pea and bean and potato vines and see how the beets were doing, and the next thing I knew, zzzzzzz!

When I awoke, I rolled over onto my back, and lay watching the clouds drift past the tops of the pea and bean trellises on either side of me, as the bees and hummingbirds trafficked back and forth between the rows. I could see some peas we'd been missing, shyly hiding among the leaves, but discoverable from below, and absentmindedly inveigled my hands up through the vines and picked them for dessert. Ummmm. Hmmm, yummmm. If anyone had seen me, perhaps they would think at first that I'd collapsed or something, lying out on the garden path like that; then they would hopefully notice the chewing.

I haven't done as much this week as some of the weeks previously, as I'm beginning to realize my age. I'm napping a lot after major chores, and the naps sometimes stretch into overnighters.

We got out more this weekend. The pic is from a birthday party of a dear friend. We gatheredA photo on Flickr yesterday at the river for food, songs, and storytelling; a lovely afternoon. It reminded me of the outdoor church suppers that were such a large part of my childhood, only without quite so many yellow-jackets (this crowd doesn't eat a lot of meat). Last night, Beloved got out the guitar and sang with me, under the tiny holiday lights that I've strung through the lilacs over the patio. We did Banks of the Ohio, I Never Will Marry, Will Ye Go Lassie Go, and the song we sang when we met, Down in the Valley.

We were interrupted twice: once by discovering that a buck, with eight-inch antlers, was tiptoeing past us to have a look at the apple trees, and later by discovering that the geese were listening to us with rapt attention. One Enchanted Evening!

Today, as I was firewooding, I went back up to the house for the wheelbarrow, and when I returned a couple of minutes later, a doe was standing in the slash of the maple tree, right by the chainsaw, sniffing apples. As I approached her, a John Deere tractor towing a dump rake came down the road from the opposite direction, and for a moment she was unsure where to go and stayed rooted to the spot until I was uncomfortably (for both of us) close. She chose the Adlerian escape at last, leaping away at right angles to both farm woman and farm machinery, over the neighbor's pasture fence and far away.

Undoubtedly not really far away, that just seemed like the thing to say. Thank goodness for the garden fences!

Earlier today, before my unexpected nap, I went paddling on the reservoir while Beloved went to a music jam. When she returned, she found that I had toddled in, climbed into bed fully clothed, and was napping again.


Independence Days report, week -- what -- ten? Sharon has apparently moved on to other things, but I find it a good way to organize my thoughts about the rhythm of what we're doing here.

Planted beets, radishes.

Harvested zucchini, knotweed, peas, kale, lettuce, chard, onions, beets, spinach, nasturtiums, mint, marjoram, chives, rosemary. Took down a 12" dbh maple and several smaller blackcherry trees and cut them up for firewood.

Preserved Sugar Snap peas, blueberries

Stored blueberries, flattened cardboard cartons. Compost. Firewood.

Managed: Pursued the knotweed project some more, and aired out the compost pile.

Prepped, well, there's the firewooding; which has been my main business of the week. Beloved bought three flats of blueberries and froze them.

Cooked something new: still mixing various new kinds of switchel, and am experimenting with porridges that are based on oatmeal and other grains, with less emphasis on wheat.
Two part rolled oatmeal.
One part buckwheat flour.
One part rye flour.
One part cornmeal.
One part rolled wheat berries.
One part whole milk.
Stir into boiling water, stir until well mixed and thickening. Add butter, salt, garden spices, honey, or molasses to taste, let stand a bit, serve.
Simplicity itself, and doesn't take a lot of effort, or come in a loud, obnoxious box!

Worked on local food systems?
Lots of home-grown lunches, mostly peas, beets, beet greens, and hard-boiled eggs. Bought local blueberries. Traded duck eggs for chicken eggs, 'cuz we are in molt.

Reduced waste? Umm -- oh, all of the above, yes?

Learned a skill: double napping.


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